Wednesday, December 19, 2012

From Sandy to Kearns
December 17, 2012

Well, Family and Friends,

This week, I got transferred from Sunny Sandy to "Dirty" Kearns (or so the 'natives' call it). I gave up the slick silver car for my rugged, black and now very muddy bike. I left Elder Gomez to keep leading Sandy district 3, and came to join two Elders in the Jordan 8th ward in the Jordan Stake. I'm in another three-some! 

The senior companion is Elder Allen, from Kentucky, who came out the same day as me, June 6th. 

The junior companion is Elder Lish, from Idaho, who is a visa waiter to go to Spain. He's been waiting for 4 months now, and he started his mission on August 1st.

The junior junior companion is me, Elder Toborg, from Washington, who loves riding bikes in the mud and walking endless sidewalks to get to various places.

They call it "dirty" Kearns, because no one has a car but the leaders, and it's one of the more dangerous parts of the mission, and there are dirt trails everywhere so we collect a fair amount of wet soil on the bottom of our pants from biking. So far I’ve only been able to bike for two of the five days, because we quickly ran out of patches for flat tires. I still haven't gotten any flats myself, but sadly we can't roll three on one bike. I'm sure we could fix some sort of carriage deal and I could drag my two companions around, but I guess walking is the better alternative. I suspect that they also call it "dirty" Kearns, because somehow the disobedient missionaries always seem to come from Kearns, or have some connection to it. I haven't seen it in my companionship, but I won't let that happen to us.

I can semi relate to Peter Maughan now, who is over in Veracruz Mexico, because now I walk around in the dirt/mud and almost everyone we talk to speaks Spanish (there's a lot more Spanish here because it's much more humble surroundings). 

My new landlady is Sister Burbank. She's 90 years old. She still has quite a character. She feeds us almost every day, twice a day, and I don't think I’ll need to buy groceries for a while or I’ll get fat. We have to come home every day and go into her room and report to her how our day went. She always makes sure to tell us to bundle up, change our laundry, and pretty much everything a mother would do. 

We've been seeing some good success already, though I’m still learning the area. We currently have about 6 investigators, and some families who we're trying to start teaching, but it's difficult to get from appointment to appointment on foot in a biking area. We really need to get those bikes fixed! We took a family down to temple square, the Flores family, and we were able to see the Christmas lights after the tour was over. The family was going to be baptized this Saturday, but they told us they need more time, so we're looking at Saturday the 29th now as their baptism. 

I'd put Elder Allen's and Elder Lish's Spanish at "adequate," but they teach with the Spirit, and that's all we need to have with us to touch the hearts of the people. It's fun to be the "Spanish teacher" now and be the one they ask for questions. I didn't realize how much culture and language I was learning while with a native for 18 weeks, but I guess it rubbed off on me! 

I'm still adjusting to the new home and new surroundings, but I'm so happy to be where I am right now! Somehow, the physical tiredness I feel every night makes me feel like I accomplished some great task, even if we only taught one or two lessons that day. 

The mission had a "mission dinner" on Friday, where we got to take a picture as an entire mission, and then eat dinner together. We were told we're going to hear from an Apostle from the Quorum of the Twelve on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve. It will certainly be a great experience!

I'm so sorry to hear about the tragedy in Connecticut, it truly proves that the prophets warnings about a deteriorating world. My Mom has always said I’ll need to home school my children. Looks like it's moving that way. Stay close to the gospel, for God has a plan for all of us, and there is hope after this life. 

I hope you're all having a great Christmas season! It's been snowing here in Utah, nothing that sticks on the roads but just enough to joust me in the face and cause discomfort. Remember to have the spirit of Giving, for there are only givers and takers. Don't be a taker! Follow Christ's example and give to the world. 

I love you all and I love this work! Merry Christmas!

-Elder Toborg-

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